The Players

When a series of raunchy posters for Jean Dujardin’s new film appeared in February, moral guardians in the US tutted that ‘The Artist’ star had scuppered his Oscar chances. He hadn’t, of course. If anything, it’s the French who should be aggrieved by this jazzy but predictably uneven portmanteau film, which goes out of its way to confirm the stereotype of Frenchmen as over-cologned, unfaithful horndogs. Adultery is the theme in this collection of nine shorts and sketches, most of them starring Dujardin and compadre Gilles Lellouche as would-be lotharios whose eager libidos invariably land them in hot water. There’s enjoyably smutty comedy to spare (climaxing with an unlikely honeymoon in Vegas that Hollywood wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole) but the film’s bleakest segments are actually its strongest. Best of all is ‘The Artist’ director Michel Hazanavicius’s short, in which Dujardin plays a sad-sack businessman looking to score at a desolate conference centre. At once moving and mortifying, it carries the distinctly un-Gallic scent of the best episodes of ‘The Office’. Guy Lod

Release details

Rated: 18
Release date: Friday July 6 2012
Duration: 107 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Emmanuelle Bercot, Fred Cavayé, Alexandre Courtès, Jean Dujardin, Michel Hazanavicius, Eric Lartigau, Gilles Lellouche
Cast: Nicolas Bedos
Philippe Caverivière
Jean Dujardin
Stéphane Joly
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